2006 Legacy New Car Test Drive
The Subaru Legacy was completely redesigned and launched as an all-new model for 2005, bigger, roomier, and more comfortable than the previous-generation models, and sporting sleek new styling. For 2006, the Legacy 2.5i gets more power for its four-cylinder engine, now rated at 175 horsepower.
Legacy wagons are at the top of our list of vehicles for drivers who want the all-weather capability and safety of Subaru's excellent all-wheel-drive system in a practical, well-engineered package. Beginning with the 2005 models, the Legacy features a rigid new chassis, better weight distribution and a wider track.
Legacy wagons are eminently practical and two-thirds of all Legacy buyers choose them. However, a Legacy sedan is available for drivers who want Subaru confidence and safety in a four-door model.
Across the line-up, all Legacy models offer an excellent balance between ride comfort and handling response. Around town and on the highway the Legacy offers a nice, smooth ride and handles bumpy sections particularly well, and on wet or slippery roads, all-wheel drive, standard on every Subaru, increases driving confidence.
Subaru has long been a cult favorite among drivers who face inclement conditions or want to get off the paved roads for sports activities and want a tough, reliable vehicle that gets decent fuel economy. The Legacy is a superb vehicle for snow, gravel roads and dirt roads.
Subaru now wants to be viewed as a premium brand, not a luxury brand like Lexus or Mercedes, but premium in the level of technology it offers. Subaru certainly lives up to that. Its all-wheel-drive systems are among the best in the world, honed through its success in the World Rally Championship, and Subaru designs its awd systems specifically for each model and driveline offered, ensuring optimum performance. Subaru's premium technology goes well beyond all-wheel drive, however. The engines and suspensions are highly engineered, resulting in a car that offers excellent handling on paved and unpaved roads along with a smooth, comfortable, though not cushy, ride quality.
All Legacy models come with a full array of safety features, including dual-stage frontal airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and full-coverage side curtain airbags. The front seats have active head restraints. Antilock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) are standard across the line. And all-wheel drive is certainly a safety feature. All this stuff is standard. Many other vehicles with lower base prices, sell these features as extra-cost options.
The Subaru Legacy comes in sedan and wagon body styles. All models come with variations of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, the latest evolution of Subaru's slick, full-time four-wheel-drive system. Two four-cylinder engines are available (but no six-cylinder).
The 2.5i (base, Special Edition, and Limited) models come with a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.
The 2.5 GT Limited models get a turbocharged and intercooled 250-horsepower version of the same engine. The GT models come with a choice of five-speed manual or five-speed automatic.
The Legacy 2.5i sedan ($21,695) and 2.5i wagon ($22,695) come well equipped: air conditioning; tilt steering wheel; cruise control; six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo; trip computer; power windows, locks and mirrors; and carpeted floor mats. Upholstery is a tweed-look fabric. The wagon has a 60/40 split, fold-down rear seatback; cargo light; carpeted cargo area; and retractable cargo cover. Wheels are 17-inch alloys with R-rated all-season tires, and the foldable mirrors and side ground effects are painted to match the body. The wagon gets a rear spoiler and roof rails. The five-speed manual transmission is standard; the four-speed automatic is optional ($1,000).
New for 2006 are the 2.5i Special Edition Sedan ($21,995) and 2.5i Special Edition Wagon ($23,195), upgraded with a moonroof (a dual-pane design on the wagon, with a tilt-up front panel and a retracting rear section) and an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat.
The 2.5i Limited sedan ($25,295) features leather trim (on the seats, steering wheel, handbrake grip and shifter knob); dual-zone automatic air conditioning; a power driver's seat; an in-dash, six-disc CD changer; upgraded front disc brakes; a cold-weather package; power moonroof; and halogen foglamps. The 2006 Legacy Limited sedan comes with a four-speed automatic with the Sportshift feature. (A wagon version of the 2.5i Limited is not available.)
The 2.5 GT Limited sedan ($29,995) and wagon ($31,195) are upgraded with perforated leather upholstery; a power driver's seat; a four-way power passenger's seat; sporty front seats; a Momo three-spoke steering wheel (with integrated, Sportshift buttons when the automatic is ordered); turn signals integrated into the outside mirrors; dressed-up door sills; Z-rated all-season tires; larger brake discs, with vented rear rotors; and a moonroof. The five-speed manual is standard. The five-speed automatic is optional ($1200). The 2.5 GT Limited sedan is also available packaged with a navigation system and automatic transmission ($31,995).
The 2.5 GT spec B sedan ($33,995) is a limited-edition 2006 model that features an exclusive Bilstein Sport Suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, 215/45R18 summer tires, aerodynamic side moldings, the navigation system, a premium audio system with MP3, aluminum alloy pedals, and a three-spoke Momo steering wheel with integrated audio controls. The spec B is distinguished by its Titanium Silver Metallic paint and Brick Red leather-trimmed seating.
Port-installed accessories include a rear spoiler for the sedan ($380); moonroof air deflector ($73); rear cargo tray ($75); and various configurations of rear cargo nets for the wagon; an air filtration system ($85); subwoofer/amplifier ($273); all-weather floor mats ($55); short-throw shifter for the manual transmission ($339); Momo shift knob; and a metal pedal set.